The Supreme Court collegium of judges, headed by Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam, has cleared eight of the 15 names sent by the Madras High Court for appointment of judges. Six advocates and two district judges are among the selected.
Law Ministry sources said proposals for appointment of eight judges to the Madras High Court received from the Supreme Court would be processed and forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office and after the PMO’s nod the file would be sent to the President for his approval. The process is expected to be completed in three weeks.
The eight names cleared are: R. Mahadevan, K. Kalyanasundaram, P.S. Jayakumar and S. Vaidyanathan from the Bar; two women lawyers, V.M. Velumani and Pushpa Sathyanarayanan and two service candidates V.S. Ravi and G. Chockalingam.
In April last week, the Madras High Court acting Chief Justice forwarded to the Union Law Ministry a list of 15 names, 13 from the Bar and two from the subordinate judiciary. Of this, one advocate wrote a letter to the collegium expressing his desire to withdraw his consent. Hence, he was not considered.
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court Advocates Association expressed serious concern over the lack of transparency in the procedure of appointment of judges and had urged former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir and the present CJI Sathasivam to return the entire list of 15 names for fresh consideration by the collegium of the Madras High Court.
In a representation to the CJI and members of the Supreme Court collegium of Judges, the MHAA said, “We once again write to express our deep concern on the issue of appointment of judges to the large number of vacancies in the Madras High Court. You are well aware that several representations have already been sent in this regard voicing the concerns of the Bar about the list of 15 names recommended which do not measure up to any standards.”
Apart from the objections of the MHAA, the State government in its comments had expressed reservations in respect of a large number of candidates and there were some adverse reports from the Intelligence Bureau.